Tula’s research interests relate to citizenship and mental health, particularly for marginalised groups. Interests lie in the effects of social policies on marginalised groups; mental health and older people; service user involvement in shaping services and research as well as research practice and research methodologies.
Recent research includes issues of GPS surveillance with people with dementia and new crisis recovery services. Tula has a book coming out in 2022 on Research with Care that applied the ethics of care to research practices, with Marian Barnes. Before arriving in New Zealand in 2006, Tula was a Research Fellow in the Institute of Applied Social Studies, University of Birmingham, where she also did her PhD: Citizenship and care for people with dementia, which examined the responses of community psychiatric nurses and social workers to the inclusion of people with dementia in their care, especially around detention decisions.
This research used a feminist ethics of care analysis. This followed a practice background as a mental health nurse working in public, private and voluntary service provision in the UK. The majority of this time was spent caring for older people with mental health problems, in particular dementia. As a Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, I undertook commissioned research, often participatory, about the implementation of the Disability Discrimination Act; service users’ experiences of transitions through services, social prescribing through general practice and the experience of contracting between statutory and voluntary sector organisations.